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A Step-by-Step Guide to Hiring an Amazing Editor

by Grace

Book lovers never get enough books that keep literature alive. In the current day and age, where everything is modernized using technology, the writing industry has also been revolutionized owing to the modern AI software that has made writing a lot easier. 

No matter how far the technology goes, artificial intelligence will never be able to mimic the human style of writing. It is because writing is not just words; it involves emotions, great storytelling, persuasion, intensity, and essence, everything that a human does. 

All the big content marketing agencies have gone above and beyond in order to hire the best writers and editors. If you are also looking to hire literary fiction editors or nonfiction editors, here is a step-by-step blueprint for you to follow:  

  1. Understand the Types of Editing

Before you dive into hiring someone for this role, it is important that you know all the important information regarding this position. Professionals have divided editing into several categories pertaining to their understanding.


Broadly speaking, there are two main types of editing. Developmental editing and copy editing, respectively. The first type deals with the structure and formatting of the document. Developmental editors make sure that your content is free of any structural or contextual flaws. They make sure that the content that is written is technically right and is in coherence with the topic of the writing.

In Fiction writing, a developmental editor makes sure that the plot is free of any gaps and loopholes. The cross-checking of technical details in a fictional piece of writing also falls under the responsibilities of a developmental editor. 

The other type, copy editing, is centered on proofreading the whole document of the novel line to line. It is often termed line editing. This is pinned around improving the tone and structure of a sentence and enhancing the expressions used in writing. Moreover, fixing vocabulary and grammar also fall into this type of editing. 

  1. Define the Type of Editing You Need

The type of editing services you will need from your resource to hire depends a great deal on the niche of your business and the type of work you do. For instance, if you run a publishing house, you will need an editor who is good at both types of editing. You will need him to edit your manuscripts, novels, books, etc., in a setup like this. 

You will want to define the description of the editing work that you will want to get handled by the new hire. If you own an IT company, you might need an editor who is perfect at line copy because there isn’t much developmental editing needed when it comes to website content. A writer will have to do dedicated work on carefully phrased website copy to attract clients and generate more revenue. Similarly, you will need an editor who is good at tweaking any piece of copy that is used for landing pages, sales pages, and other forms of content intended to sell a particular service or product. 

  1. Set Aside a Definite Budget

Next, you would want to set aside a particular budget for your job. When you have decided on the type of work you will want your editor to do. It is important that you do your market research. Go through some of the best platforms and look at what people are bidding on. Divide your research into skill levels. 

There are three types of professionals that you can find in this domain, novice, experienced, and expert. The novice ones would have little to no editing experience, but they might have extensive experience as a writer. They will charge the least and could be the most cost-effective option you will come across. 

The professionals in the expert and experienced category will have the relevant experience and can improve their work even without training on the subject. However, such resources will cost you higher, and you will need to dedicate a higher budget to appeal to these professionals. You can try the best freelance platforms like PeoplePerHour, Upwork, and TopTal to work with professionals on a trial basis to come up with the best resource. 

  1. Ask For the Process Details

Once you have posted the vacancy, it is important to filter out the best possible matches that are potentially the right fit for your job. Now comes the time when you analyze each profile to find out the process of each professional editor.

Have a look at their portfolio, and analyze how they approach they have edited the documents. Understand their approach and determine if you need the same skills for your job or not.

  1. Create an Editing Test

Sometimes, the portfolios can be a bit misleading because some people follow the malpractice of adding samples of someone else’s work in their portfolio and title it as ghostwritten and edited. To make sure that you hire only the best professional for your job, you will need to prepare a writing test for the candidates. 

The selected candidates will take the same editing test so you can test the skills of each in comparison with the others. It will also give you an idea of how well they will perform on your particular job. 

  1. Interview the Shortlisted Candidates

The candidates who pass the skill test will then be called for an interview. You will have to invite each successful candidate for the interview. Ask the relevant questions in the interview. Get to know their style of working. 

Moreover, you will also want to test their professional demeanor during the interview. Attitude plays just as important a role as skills while hiring a professional. You should also analyze the attitude and behavior of the candidate while interviewing him. 

  1. Decide on Work Terms 

At last, you would want to wrap up the whole process by finalizing the legal and financial terms. Get yourself a contract that defines all the working conditions and payment criteria. The type of work, working hours, code of conduct, terms of termination, and promotion criteria will all come under that contract. Once both parties sign the contract, they become legally bound to follow all the terms and conditions. Failure to adhere to the contract terms will lead to legal action. 

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